Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) weighed in on the controversy over a proposed mosque near the World Trade Center site Wednesday, calling the recent opposition to the project "one of the most disgraceful things that I've heard." 

Franken was born in Manhattan, and lived there again while writing for "Saturday Night Live" over a period of 20 years.

"I don’t know how many of you have been to New York, but if a building is two blocks away from anything, you can’t see it," he said of the mosque's proposed site. "It’s a community center. They’re going to have a gym. They’re going to have point guards. Muslim point guards."

Franken's comments were greeted with laughter and applause, Illinois's State Journal-Register reports.

“They [Republicans] do this every two years. They try to find a wedge issue, and they try to work it.”